IMPACT star Acey Romero recently spoke with Sports Illustrated to talk all things pro-wrestling, including how hard he's worked to drop nearly 100lbs from his body. He also mentions the support he received backstage and why his health was more important than sticking to his gimmick. Highlights are below.
On needing to get his health in check:
I was content being the big guy. That’s who I’ve always been, doing things no one thought I could do, but my weight just snowballed. I was almost 500 pounds, and I needed to get my health in check.
How his wrestling was suffering because of his weight gain:
My wrestling was starting to suffer. I wasn’t the athlete I used to be. I feel incredibly lucky to be signed by Impact. I was overweight when they signed me, and now it’s my time to return that investment.
Says he didn't want to be the guy who died before 40:
A lot of people reached out and said I’m killing my gimmick, that I should stay big. Maybe they’re right, maybe I am killing my gimmick, but I was also in the process of killing myself. I understand that now, so I’m doing this for me. If I kept going the way I was going, I don’t know if I’d make it to 40. I don’t want to be that guy.
Calls this phase the evolution of his career:
This is the next evolution of my career. I don’t have to be anyone else but myself, and I want to go from the guy that was 475 all the way down to 225. That’s who I want to be. That’s my ultimate goal.
How he still plans to work his ass off to reach his goal:
I was pleasantly surprised with my results, but there is still a long way to go. Wrestling is a big part of it, but this goes much deeper than wrestling. Success doesn’t mean anything if I don’t have my health. I know people won’t believe what I want to do, but they won’t be able to believe the way I look, either. I have two more years on my contract, and my goal is to be Impact world champion. That’s my goal before the end of my contract. I’ll have to work my ass off to get there, but I wouldn’t want to do it any other way.